Bujumbura Travel Answers

change location

traveling with an infant

by magdalena123 Online Now Jun 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Hello I'm traveling to Bujumbura next week, what are the essentials that I need? (in-case I forgot something). My baby is 6 months old. I know that he is to young for anti malarias. I am breast feeding so I cant take them either. We are going to stay there for at least 6 months.
We have already: anti mosquito gels, mosquito net, hats, sunscreens, painkillers
thanks

Quote & Answer
5 Answers
  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Re: traveling with an infant

    by CatherineReichardt Online Now Jun 21, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Hi
    Hmmm ... not the ideal place to travel with a baby, but assuming that you have no choice but to go, here are a few ideas that will hopefully be of help.
    You don't mention where you're from, so I have no idea of how familiar you are with living in the developing world or living in tropical environments. So excuse me if I work from a departure point that you're from the first world and and not used to living in tropical environments.
    Probably your biggest challenge will be to find a reliable and affordable supplier of nappies (diapers). These will most likely be imported, so expensive if you can find them, and supply will not necessariy be guaranteed. Just in case you can't find them (or deem them too expensive), the fallback situation is to use conventional terrycloth nappies, which I am pretty confident that you will be able to find locally. These need to be used in conjunction with rubber pants (to prevent leakage) and pins to close the nappy which might not be readily available, so I'd go equipped with supplies of both of these. When our daughter was a baby, we used terry nappies because there was a very affordable local service provider who laundered and folded the nappies, but we did find that although this was fine for daytime, it wasn't very comfortable for her at night and caused her to wake up more often. Our compromise was to use terry nappies during the day, and disposable nappies at night, and this might be a good compromise if you can access only a limited supply of disposables and/or they're astronomically expensive.
    Getting cream for nappy rash may also be a challenge - in general, breastfed babies don't seem to have so much of a problem, but once you start to introduce solids, it is a harder issue to manage, and our son (who self-weaned early) suffered terribly from this. The best treatment is to use a good barrier cream to try and prevent it occuring in the first place (so bring some of this), but despite your best efforts, there are times when it develops and you need something to treat it with. I found Bepanthen and Antipeol worked best, even it is expensive, so bring supplies with you just in case. We also found that sprinkling the nappy with cornflour (corn starch) really helped with preventing baby rash developing.
    Your child will probably be working up to teething, so teething gels could come in handy. Teething rings are also useful - we found the ones that had liquid inside and could be popped into the freezer so that the cold helped to numb the baby's gums were particularly helpful.
    Good bottles may also be hard to come by and you'll probably need to use these to supplement fluids even if you're still breastfeeding (especially in a hot climate). I found the Avent brand very good and very hard wearing - but be sure to bring a supply of replacement teats as they don't last forever (especially once your baby starts to get teeth).
    In humid conditions, babies can easily pick up skin irritations, so baby talcum powder is helpful, particularly around joints.
    And as your little one will probably start to try and walk during your time there, some medication for the inevitable bumps and bruises is likely to be required - we found products based on arnica (but especially formulated for kids) worked really well.
    Lastly, have you checked whether your child will be due any vaccinations whilst you are there? In South Africa, children in this age range would usually have the following vaccinations:
    9 Months Measles Vaccine
    12 Months Hepatitis A Vaccine (Paediatric), Varicella Vaccine (Chickenpox) and Conjugated Pneumococcal Vaccine
    15 to 18 Months Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
    If so, then bring your vaccination certificate so that the relevant stamps for vaccines that are administered can be entered. If there's any doubt about whether the vaccines are available, I suppose that you could try and procure them and bring them with you. However, if you do this, you will have to ensure that they are transported under the recommended conditions (which usually means that they must be refrigerated) and it would be advisable to bring documentation with you to confirm what they are to customs officials.
    Hope this helps!
    Regards
    Cathy

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • sphynxxs's Profile Photo

    Re: traveling with an infant

    by sphynxxs Online Now Jun 21, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Cathy has already given a very thorough advice, therefore just one small addition: While Bujumbura is definitely not offering a lot on supplies for a baby or toddler, Burundi is a small country. If you go to Kigali - just a comparatively short distance, really - you will have a Nakumatt supermarket where you can up on a number of supplies, like diapers, baby bottle, baby formula etc. But yes, come prepared with as much as possible, because the odds that you will find replacements easily are rather dim

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Re: traveling with an infant

    by magdalena123 Online Now Jun 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    Dear Cathy and Sphynxxs
    Thank you very much for very fast and helpful advises!
    I'm going shopping tomorrow for all that you you suggested.

    One more question did you (and your children) take any anti malaria? I have heard that when going for a longer period of time its better not to take them. Just in case of flu symptoms see th doctor.

    I'm from Poland, I was in Burundi once, two years ago I stayed there for a month. This time will be longer because my husband is working there.
    Thanks again Magda

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Re: traveling with an infant

    by CatherineReichardt Online Now Jun 21, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Hi Magda
    I never took my children into malarial zones before they were old enough to take the prophylaxis (about 3).
    The jury is out about taking the medication long term - the old style drugs tended to have nasty side effects (hearing loss and damage to internalnorgans) but the new generation drugs are vastly improved.
    The trick is not to get bitten in the first place, so the usual precautions work best: mozzie mats, repellents, nets, spray the house to get rid of mozzies in residence and cover up exposed skin between dawn and dusk.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
    Regards
    Cathy

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Re: traveling with an infant

    by magdalena123 Online Now Jun 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    hello!
    Thanks again! I will let you know how it goes!
    Magda

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines

Near Bujumbura